July 10, 2012

Summer projects

It's been a few years now since I had a summer where I had a stable position and reasonably certain future; two summers ago I was moving out of my Knox office, into Monmouth, and prepping classes for an unfamiliar audience and format, and then last summer I was moving cross-country as well as, again, prepping lots of classes from scratch. This summer, though, I'm keeping my same house and same job, and only teaching one new class in the fall. So I have projects!

School-wise, the big one is that we're redeveloping the CS curriculum here. This was on the table even when I was hired—one reason I taught so many different courses this year was so I'd have a good perspective during this revision process. The major needed a lot of work; it was developed in the mid-80s with reference to the then-current 1978 curriculum guidelines from the ACM, and although it'd been tweaked since then, it still was a huge, heavy, inflexible, antiquated clunk of a major. The revision process has been fun, because I was able to propose some fairly significant changes, new classes, shifts in emphasis, and generally design a curriculum that will be flexible and ready to stand up for another thirty years. :)

Around the house I have a few things I've been meaning to do for a while. I'm going through boxes that I've now moved more than once that contain stuff I don't need, and slowly shrinking that pile-o-stuff. I'm also about the best tenant ever, because I do a lot of little minor home improvements that leave the house better than I found it—today I moved the external screen from a window that never opens to the bathroom window, so now you can open it as wide as you want and don't have to worry about fussing with a manual screen. (No major renovations, obviously, since I'm only renting. :) I've been working through a backlog of reading, both plays and other books, some of which I've had for months or years now without getting around to them.

And I'm doing a real vacation! It's not a working vacation (like the AP readings every year) or a conference trip (which often get a few extra days tacked on for fun), but a good old fashioned road trip, adding something like 6,000 miles to my car, most of that with my sister along, to attend a wedding and explore the Pacific Northwest. Should be fun!

"The only way to simulate the state's byzantine school-financing law was to understand every inch of it, every historical curiosity and long-embedded political compromise, to the last dollar and cent. To write code about a thing, you have to know the thing itself, absolutely." --Kevin Carey

Posted by blahedo at 7:47pm on 10 Jul 2012
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